Summer heat is no joke when you regularly wear a fur coat as our canine companions do. Canine heatstroke is a potentially deadly occurrence that is unfortunately common during the hot summer months. Fortunately, overheating is also 100% preventable, and following these tips is a great way to keep your furry family member safe as the end-of-summer heat winds down.
Signs That Your Dog Is Overheating
When people get overly hot, we sweat to cool down. Dogs don’t do this (can you imagine the sweaty, wet dog mess if they did?), so they need different ways to cool down. The primary way they cool down as they start to overheat is to pant. If you notice excessive panting in your dog, they are beginning to overheat. The other cooling mechanism that dog bodies use is to divert blood flow from internal organs out to the skin. This can make their skin feel very hot because they’re trying to cool their bodies. Aside from these signs, overheating might cause lethargy, vomiting, bright red or blue gums, or seizures.
To prevent overheating, never leave your dog in a parked car. Even in the shade or with a window cracked, it can still be deadly. Ensure your dog has fresh water all day long, and create cool zones where there is shade or a cooling mat. When you take your dog out for exercise, choose to do it in the coolest part of the day. Finally, make sure that you’re brushing your dog’s coat regularly so that the shedding fur doesn’t build up.
Responding To Overheating
If you’re afraid your dog is overheating, you need to cool him off as soon as possible. You can rinse him with cool water, but avoid icy water, which could cause shock. Give your dog water to drink, and then take them to the vet. On the way to the vet, have the windows down, so the evaporation cools him.
We Would Love the Opportunity to Care for Your Furry Friends!
Alexander Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital located in Severna Park, Maryland, serving the Severna Park, Pasadena, and Arnold Areas. Our goal is educating clients on the needs of their pets and understanding the importance of individualized veterinary care in order to strengthen the human-animal bond between owners and their pets.
We understand you have a choice when deciding on the care for your pets, and we strive to provide you with unparalleled services including wellness exams, vaccines, lost pet microchip ID, dental care, surgical services, digital radiography, and in-hospital laboratory services and diagnostics. Other highlights of Alexander Animal Hospital are the separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms, as well as after-hours on-call emergency services.